Portlaoise officialy off HIQA hit list

Portlaoise Hospital has been officially removed from a list of hospitals which have previously been identified as having clinical risks.

Portlaoise Hospital has been officially removed from a list of hospitals which have previously been identified as having clinical risks.

Following the HIQA reports into Mallow and Ennis Hospitals, Portlaoise had been identified by the HSE as one of ten hospitals that have clinical risks.

However, a new report on the HSE Implementation of the Ennis and Mallow reports, confirms Portlaoise’s removal from the risk list.

Laois/Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan said he was pleased that the future of the hospital had been clarified. He said that Laverne McGuinness, HSE National Director of the Integrated Services Directorate) on Portlaoise had insisted that Portlaoise could not be considered as one of the “HIQA 10” by virtue of the volume and nature of the work that is undertaken in the hospital on a daily basis.

The Fine Gael TD said that the Minister for Health had also been emphatic when describing Portlaoise as a model three hospital which can provide 24 hour emergency care.

“It is my clear understand that Portlaoise would be designated a model three hospital providing a wide range of healthcare services,” he said.

Deputy Flanagan said the preliminary design of the new Maternity Unit had been completed and he would continue to press for further progress on this. He said work was also due to commence on a new radiology and ultrasound unit this month.

However, it was not all good news for the hospital this week, as performance reports for the first quarter revealed that the hospital had one of the highest rates of absenteeism. The Laois/Offaly Local Health Office was also listed as one of the worst, with abseentism above 6%. In Portlaoise, the management, admin and nursing were the worst offenders.

Although figures were not available for the month of March, Portlaoise reported an extra 477 emergency presentations at the hospital for the first two months of the year, compared to the same period last year. While births at the hospital, seen a small decrease this year.

No patients are waiting longer than 12 months for elective inpatient or daycase procedures, while a total of 18 patients are waiting longer than nine months.

For daycase procedures, 130 patients have been waiting up to nine months, while just 31 patients have been waiting the same length of time for elective inpatient procedures.